Saturday, December 24, 2011

I am clean, says MEC who faces charges over fraud

I am clean, says MEC who faces charges over fraud
23 Dec 2011 | Sowetan Reporter
FORMER North West MEC for education, Reverend Johannes Tselapedi, says his arrest on Tuesday is a ploy to damage his image.
ACCUSED: Johannes Tselapedi "The plot is thickening in North West against the innocent," Tselapedi said in Mahikeng yesterday.

He said it was up to the court to decide whether he was guilty, but he was confident he would come out clean.

Tselapedi also warned that North West should guard against "a phenomenon where the corrupt paint themselves as angels and innocent people are painted as corrupt".

Tselapedi was arrested with former head of department Mathanzima Mweli and suspended head of department Charles Raseala for fraud and corruption amounting to more than R12-million.

The three appeared on Tuesday ain the Mmabatho Regional Court a few hours after the Hawks raided their homes.

They were charged with four counts of corruption, eight counts of fraud and money laundering.

Tselapedi had further four counts of contravention with the Public Finance Management Act.

He was granted R250000 bail while Mweli and Raseala were given R500000 bail each. They remained in police custody for further police investigation until February 20.

Tselapedi also questioned the manner in which he was arrested.

"The rights of people are not fully explained and some documents are not given, ultimately you start to wonder, is this an ordinary arrest or are there some referrals and intentions. It is going to be a battle," he said.

Former mayor of Ngaka Modiri Molema, Themba Ngwabeni - who has just rejoined the ANC from Cope - said he and Tselapedi were friends who have suffered the same bad treatment.

"I have gone through a similar situation. We both stand for the truth and I trust him. I know that he will not even steal a cent from his church. I know that we will go through this together. Side-by-side we will continue to be friends."

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